8 "Optimism Pills" for your backpack By David Arrol Macfarlane
Yes, I guess I do get to see Canada from a very unique perspective: From Victoria to St John’s I travel ministering trans-denominationally across our nation speaking some 200 times a year to many people at conferences and churches both large and small. In the fourteen years that I have been doing this I am constantly encouraged by all the good that I see. God is at work in our nation!
Here are 8 “Optimism Pills” that I hope you will put in your backpack as you minister:
1. Spirituality. Most Canadians indicate being very spiritual. Yes, they want little to do with “church” but are open and searching for spiritual answers for their lives. Christians that are able to connect and minister without being overly “religious” or “churchy” yet clearly present the claims of Christ through relationships are having great success.
2. Immigration. It is extremely encouraging to meet Christians from all parts of the world that have brought to Canada their fervent faith and passion for evangelism. Strong and growing ethnic churches are spreading beyond the major metropolitan areas and changing the spiritual landscape of Canada.
3. Children. As has always been the case, reaching children for Christ is the future. Congregations that invest heavily in outreaches and ministries that help children come to know God for themselves and become rooted in the faith instead of being merely entertained are seeing a significant long term impact in young adults who stay true to Christ.
4. Healing. Responding to the many painful and often dysfunctional relational issues in today’s Canadian society churches that offer acceptance, hope and recovery are blazing a growing trail to Christ. While dealing with brokenness is challenging, the healing that God can bring is truly inspiring and growing congregations across the country!
5. Mentors. People become what we are not what we say we are. The biblical discipleship model is seeing a wonderful comeback in many congregations that are helping new believers to live and faithfully share their faith. This movement is leading to both health and multiplication while keeping the faith of the older Christians fresh and growing.
6. Community. If everyone on the planet, emotionally, needs to feel “Acceptance” and have a sense of “Belonging”, then the truly biblical model of church is what Canadians are looking for. The good news is that we are seeing many congregations embracing this attractive model of being a genuine loving, caring, community with wonderful results.
7. Freedom. No secret police will raid our homes or churches! Canada is one of the greatest countries on the planet! We have the freedom to practice and share our faith freely without fear of physical harm or imprisonment. Thank God for the many believers who both appreciate and understand this gift as they boldly reach others for Christ.
8. Innovation. If we look carefully in our own back yard we will discover amazing leaders that are having a huge impact through some extremely creative ministries that are uniquely Canadian. Every nation needs solutions that are specific for their people and their issues. We are very blessed to be seeing so many creative and fruitful initiatives across our nation. The future is bright!
John 4:35 “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest”.
Please pass this on to your Pastor or staff if you find it encouraging